Recommendation for a B&W 400 speed film : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

I am hoping to spend a fair amount of time and effort in B&W photography of landscapes. I am very fond of the 25,29, and the 47, and 47b filters. These filters have fairly aggressive factors. So if I use a 25 or 50 ASA film, I would have to set shutter speeds with a calendar! .... My plan is to use a 400 speed film. There are several of these - some new. I wonder if you might have a recommendation: KODAK TRI-X, AGFA 400, Ilford HP5, Delta 400, Fuji Neopan 400.

I use 6X6 and 6X9 cameras and I have a 23c enlarger wit a new Aristo Cold light head.

Any advice on a good film with which to start will be appreciated.

Thanks Bruce

-- Bruce Karnopp (, March 22, 2000


With my equipment Tri-X has a PEI of 200, HP5+ has a PEI of 100, my personal preference is Tri-X, I use pyro developer and both films respond very well to it, I have used a cold light head for 10 years and would not use any other, since I don't think there is anything better, yet. Pat

-- pat j. krentz (, March 22, 2000.

The Agfa and Kodak films are old technology (great tonal scale and sharpness with lots of grain). I had such dismal results with Fuji 100 that I haven't tried their 400 offering.

Of the newer films, my pick would be Ilford Delta 400 developed in XTOL 1:3 according to the Kodak data sheet, but with Ilford agitation (:10 every minute). Grain is much less than the above films and sharpness is good, too. Gradation might suffer a little by comparison, but I think it's very close.

-- Brian Hinther (, March 22, 2000.

I agree with Brian. Ilford Delta 400 is definitely my preferred 400 speed film. I would also consider Delta 100. You will have no problem using this film with a 25A filter if you use a tripod. I also use Xtol. This combo of film and developer is very forgiving and yields great results.

-- orman (, March 22, 2000.

Delta 400 may be less finicky than TMax but it is still a bit prone to block up in the highlight areas, I find, despite great care in my developing.

TriX is very nice but HP5+ has a finer and more pleasing grain structure and it is my current favorite.

I used Neopan 400 for a year but felt it to be flat and lifeless.

This is all represented in the exposure curves, I'm sure, but I don't have any feel for how the curve translates into what I like to see on paper, so it's cut and try.

My current development scheme: HP5+ @ EI 200 developed in PMK @ 70F for 8 minutes 0 sec. I use a condenser enlarger. For a diffuse light source in an enlarger I imagine you would need longer development times.

-- Don Karon (, April 18, 2000.

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